In my research for my wife’s 3rd great-grandfather, Burkett Vincent, I was looking to find his parent’s names. I wondered if the Census records might shed some light on that inquiry.
I knew that Burkett was born in Halifax County, North Carolina from other records. I have also followed Burkett Vincent through the censuses from 1810 thru 1840. The 1810 Census indicated he was between 26 and 45, suggesting a birth year from 1765 to 1784. Likewise, the 1820 Census indicated that he was still in the 26 to 45 age group, suggesting a birth year of 1775 thru 1794. Comparing the two censuses, Burkett should have been born between 1775 and 1784. Add in the 1830 and 1840 Censuses which both indicate his birth was between 1770 and 1780, and we get the census indicated his birth as being between 1775 and 1780.
Additionally, the 1810 Census suggested a family consisting of Burkett (age 26-45), a wife (age 26-45) and one child under the age of 10. That suggests to me that in 1800, he was probably not married and probably living in the household of another, probably his parents.
Next, was to take a look at the 1800 Census for Halifax County. I confirmed that Halifax County existed in 1800 and did a search for anyone with the surname of Vincent in Halifax County. There was one – MacAlester Vincent. He was over 45 and, from all appearances, his family appeared to consist of himself, an apparent wife (over 45 years old) and two children – a girl under 10 years of age and a male, from 10 to 16 years old. In 1800, Burkett should have been between 20 and 25 years old. So, I’m not seeing him in the MacAlester Vincent household.
I’ve encountered that the surnames Vincent and Vinson seem to swap about in the family tree, So, I searched for anyone with the surname of Vinson in Halifax County during the 1800 Census. There were three results: Willys Vinson, Philip Vinson, and Lucian Vinson.
Vincent and Vinson’s in the 1800 Census, Halifax County, North Carolina
10 to 16
16 to 26
26 to 45
45 & Over
The Willys household consisted of only one male child and that child was under 10 years old.
Likewise “Lucian’s” household consisted of only one male child and that child was under 10 years old. Clearly, neither of these households appeared to have Burkett in them. As a side note, “Lucian’s” household had no adult males. As such, I believe the 25 to 45-year-old woman in the household was the head. Looking closely at the name in the Census record, it does not appear to be “Lucian’ to me. I’m not sure what the name is, but I don’t think it is Lucian. See image below:
That left the household led by Philip Vinson. That household included one male under 10, one male from 10 to 16, two males from 16 to 26, and one male over 45 years old. That is the only Vinson/Vincent household in Halifax County that contained a male from 20 to 25 years of age. It seems to be a household which might contain the 20 to 25-year-old Burkett. If it is, then head of the household, Philip, is Burkett’s likely father.
I’ve seen where other researchers have indicated that Burkett’s father is Willis. If Burkett was born between 1775 and 1780 he should be represented in the 1800 Census as being between 16 and 26. Willis’ household does not have such a child in 1800.
I’ve also seen where other researchers indicate that Burkett’s father is MacAlester (McAllister Vincent). Again, if Burkett was born between 1775 and 1780, he should be represented in the 1800 Census as being in the MacAlester Vincent household as between 16 and 26. There is no such child in the household during the 1800 Census.
Does this prove that Philip Vinson is Burkett’s father? Not even close. All is speculation; however, it does provide a name which I can use in future research hypothesizes. I can now ask “Is Philip Vinson Burkett’s father?” rather than wondering, “Who is Burkett’s father?” A lot more research is needed, but it is a start.
During the NERGC conference in Manchester, NH, one of the speakers talked about “Circles in Family Tree Citations.” That is to say, a fact in a person’s tree is based upon another tree, and that tree is based upon another tree, and that tree is based upon another tree and so forth until that first tree is the source for the last tree. I find it even more disturbing when several of the trees cite another record as a second source and that record conflicts with the cited fact.
According to over a dozen trees I found on Ancestry and elsewhere, Stephen Blackhurst was born 26 December 1775 in Derbyshire, England. All of these trees cite another Ancestry Family Tree as their source. Several of those trees do cite the 1841 England Census which indicates that Stephen Blackhurst was 60 years old in 1841, suggesting his birth in 1781; however they still cling to the 1775 birthdate. Even Family Search’s Family Tree indicates the 1775 date and cites the 1841 Census as the source and a person’s Ancestry Tree as the as a reason for the I’ve emailed a couple of the individuals to see if they might have a more definitive source but all have either responded with “don’t know, it’s from another person’s tree” or had no response.
4th Great-grandfather: Stephen Blackhurst (c. 1779-1847)
5th Great-grandfather: Stephen Blackhurst
The 1841 England Census indicates that Stephen Blackhurst was 60-years-old at census time. That suggests his birth year was 1780 or 1781. It appears he was born in Derby in Derbyshire as it was the location for his marriage and the christening of several of his children. Also, the 1841 census indicates he was not born in Yorkshire.
His death register entry indicates that he was 70 years old when he died on 8 March 1847 suggesting a birth of 1776 or 1777. So, I really don’t know when he was born but am confident it was between 1776 and 1781, so I’ll use “circa. 1779” until I find a better record.
I know nothing about his childhood, but across the Atlantic in 1781, Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington at Yorktown and England had a period of relative peace. It wasn’t until after his marriage that the Napoleonic Wars kicked into full gear.
On 14 June 1802, Stephen married Lydia Ellen Cockram at the Church of St. Peter in Derby, Derbyshire by N Baylor, the vicar of Saint Michaels, Derby. The witnesses were Geo Tunnecht and Rebecca Bull. St. Peter is still standing. The church building dates back to the 11th century and is now over 950 years old.
In July 1806, the first daughter of Stephen and Lydia died.
In 1820*, their 8-year-old son, Francis died.
On 5 May 1827*, Stephen’s wife Lydia Ellen (Cockram) Blackhurst died in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England.
In 1833, Stephen had a shoe maker’s shop at the Old Workhouse in Pitsmoor (Sheffield).
In 1839, Stephen was a boot and shoemaker at 57 Pye Bank in Sheffield.
The 1841 Census indicates that Stephen is a 60-year-old shoemaker living at Pye Bank in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England. The Census notes that he was not born in the county, but all the others in the household were. Living with him are:
In 1844*, Stephen’s son John died at the age of 27.
In 1846*, Stephen’s son Matthew died at the age of 35.
In 1847 Stephen was a shoemaker at 24 Chapel St., Bridge houses.
Stephen Blackhurst died on the 8th of March 1847. in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England. About five days before his death, he was mortally injured when a cart ran over him. He was 70 years old.
Stephen Blackhurst was born about 1780, probably in Derby, Derbyshire, England. He was preceded in death by his wife, the former Lydia Ellen Cockram, three sons, and a daughter. He was survived by three sons; Stephen, William, and Adamson and two daughters, Mary and Lydia Ellen.
Events by Location
Derby, Derbyshire, England 1780-1805 Birth, Marriage, Birth of two children – 25 years.
Sheffield, Yorkshire, England 1806-1847 Birth of seven children, Death – 41 years.
Further Actions / Follow-up
Confirm Birth, Marriage, and Death information for Stephen’s wife Lydia and all of his children.
City Directory (A), Ancestry.com, 1841 – Sheffield, England – Page 324 – Blackhurst – 57 Pye Bank. 1841 Pigot & Co’s Royal National and Commercial Directory; Publisher: J. Pigot & Co.
City Directory (A), Ancestry.com, 1847 – Sheffield, England – Sheffield and its Vicinity, Page 3 – Boot and Shoe Makers – Blackhurst – 24 Chapel St, Bridge-houses. 1847 Slater’s Directories of Important English Towns; Publisher: Isaac Slater.
England and Wales Death Registration Index 1837-2007, Family Search, Stephen Blackhurst – 1847. “England and Wales Death Registration Index 1837-2007,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2JMT-SSC : 31 December 2014), citing Death, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, General Register Office, Southport, England.
England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975, Family Search, Eliza Blackhurst. “England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NGNQ-4MJ : 11 February 2018, Stephen Blackhurst in an entry for Eliza Blackhurst, 09 Mar 1805); citing , index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 422,207, 422,208, 498,068, 498,069.
England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975, Family Search, Francis Blackhurst. “England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JWN1-3XC : 11 February 2018, Stephen Blackhurst in an entry for Francis Blackhurst, 06 Jan 1812); citing , index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 919,327.
England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975, Family Search, John Blackhurst. “England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N5JT-7LB : 11 February 2018, Stephen Blackhurst in entry for John Blackhurst, 26 Oct 1817); citing , index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 919,328, 919,329, 919,360, 919,361, 919,362.
England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975, Family Search, Mary Blackhurst. “England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N5JL-8PD : 11 February 2018, Stephen Blackhurst in an entry for Mary Blackhurst, 06 Oct 1806); citing , index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 919,327.
England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975, Family Search, Stephen Blackhurst. “England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NV78-7MZ : 11 February 2018, Stephen Blackhurst in an entry for Stephen Blackhurst, 13 Jul); citing yr 1662-1810, index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 422,208.
England, Derbyshire, Church of England Parish Registers, 1537-1918, Family Search, Stephen Blackhurst & Lydia Cockran – 14 Jun 1802.
White, 1833 History & Directory of Sheffield, Rotherham (Publisher: R. Leader), Ancestry.Com, Stephen Blackhurst – Yorkshire, England – Shoe Maker, Old workhouse, Pitsmoor. 1833 History & Directory of Sheffield, Rotherham; Publisher: R. Leader for W. White.
 All dates marked with “*” are speculative dates based upon the information from others. I have NOT confirmed these dates with personal research. Instead, I consider them clues for further investigation.
 The 1841 Census refutes claims that Stephen was born in Yorkshire and confirmed that all of the children in this census were born in Yorkshire County.
 The 1849 Sheffield City Directory lists Mary as a dressmaker at 19 Chapel street.
 The 1852 Sheffield City Directory lists William as a shoemaker at 24 Chapel St., confirming the 1841 Census occupation for William.
 The occupation of Jno (John) is close to illegible. The
 It appears that Stephen died on 8 March 1847. I have ordered a copy of his death registry entry.
I love it when I find a new website that really helps my genealogical research. I was researching my 4th Great-grandfather, Stephen Blackhurst, Sr. (c. 1779-1847) and found “Historical Directories of England & Wales,” on the University of Leicester, “Special Collections” webpages. They have multiple directories from 40 county’s in England and Wales. In my case I searched for Blackhurst and found over 100 returned items. I then added “Yorkshire” to my listing and found 15 records. Stephen died in 1847, so eliminated directories 1850 and newer. I looked closely at the Directories for 1833, 1841, 1847, and 1849 (he should have been gone for that one).
Sure enough, there he was; a shoe maker at the Old Workhouse in Pitsmoor and he’s a shoemaker at 57 Pye bank in the 1839 and 1841 directories as well. He was not listed in the 1849 directory (he died in 1847), but two of his children, Adamson and Mary were listed. Adamson was a shoe and butcher knife maker, at 102 Matilda St., and Mary was a dressmaker at 19 Chapel Street. I’m not 100% positive that this Mary Blackhurst is the right Mary Blackhurst (some of Mary’s siblings could have had a daughter Mary who could be this Mary), but it is likely enough to add it as a tentative entry.
Apparently, her mother died last year and as she was going through her mother’s things, she found a poem in a jewelry box by Russell E. Kees. As we compared notes, we learned that both her mother, the former Rosella VanderKlok, and my Uncle Russ were born in 1927, so they were contemporaries. Additionally, Rosella grew up and lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan, until the 1950s. My uncle lived in Grand Rapids from about 1937 to about 1944. So they were in the same place at the same time. So, there is no doubt in my mind that the poem, “To Rosa” is a poem from my uncle to a young woman, written sometime from when they were teens, probably 16 or 17 years old.
I’ll admit I’m rather slow,
When it comes to words of grace,
So I’ll tell it to you in a poem,
Rather than face to face.
I realize we’ve barely met,
Except for a week or two,
But I think that the time is coming close,
To speak of my love for you.
No don’t get red and blush and fret,
‘Cause it happens every day,
Boy meets girl, and falls in love,
That’s why I feel this way.
I may joke like I did last night,
About things we were going to do,
But deep inside, I keep the hope,
That someday they might come true.
I was happy to see you wear my ring,
And although I have no right,
To lie here in bed and think of you,
As mine for a single night.
I’ve tried for an hour to write a poem,
Explaining just how I feel,
But after I’ve read it, (and I’m glad that I said it)
I feel like a lowdown feel.
So here is the poem I said I would write,
God help me for being blunt,
But truth is stranger than fiction, you know,
And the true is, this poem’s NO stunt.
May God give me the courage to look you in the eye again
after you’ve read this!!!!!!
THE WORST THING I’VE EVER WRITTEN
(But the Truest)
by Russell E. Kees
Russell and Rosa must have had a very special relationship for Rosa to have kept the poem for nearly 75 years. The poem also provides insight into Russell, whose youth experiences have always been a mystery to me. My thanks to Lisa for sharing this glimpse into their teenage lives.
I was recently asked what I thought about Ancestry’s new ThruLinestm feature, how much did I use it and what do I accept from it. In using autosomal DNA results, it is always good to have a very wide tree. The wider your tree is, the more cousins you have identified, the more likely you will be able to determine the relationship between you and a DNA match.
So, I decided to look at the matches that reach my great-grandparents, Arthur and Mary (Manning) Brown. They had 12 children, 11 of whom reached adulthood, so I figured there would be many cousins there.
I tend to analyze each person left to right, so I started with a 2nd cousin, descended from Victoria Brown.
Look at the centimorgan (cM) match amount. In this first case, the individual and I share 134 cM across nine segments. Our trees suggest we are 2nd The Shared cM Project 3.0 tool v4 at DNAPainter.com https://dnapainter.com/tools/sharedcmv4 indicates that 2nd cousins should share between 46 and 515 cm of genetic material. So, our match is within the expected range.
Does the other person’s tree match yours? In this case, we have all of the same data for her grandmother. In order to accept a ThruLinestm display, both 1 and 2 must pass.
Do the other descendant entries make sense? In this case, the cousin’s father is still living (and thus redacted). I had the same person with no discrepancies in data. Therefore, I am sure of the match. I did contact the individual to learn of her first name and then entered her into my tree in the right place.
The next cousin to analyze is a descendant of Edward Lewis Brown. This cousin and I share 144 cM over seven segments, well within the expected range for 2nd cousins, once removed.
According to ThruLines, this match a great-granddaughter of Edward through her mother and her grandmother both of which have private entries. My records indicate that Edward had ten children, seven of whom were girls. I also don’t have information on any of the granddaughters of Edward. As such, I can’t place this individual on the tree at all. I then contacted the cousin and asked her about her connection to Edward Brown. Her mother and her grandmother’s name if possible. Once I receive that information, if her grandmother matches one of my known children of Edward Brown, I will accept her and her mother’s names from her tree.
Cousin number 3 was somewhat expected. The amount of DNA, 98 cM, fit expectations for 2nd cousins once removed. I had identical information for her grandfather and her great grandfather. Looking at my data, I had four potential women (all living) who could be the mother of this cousin. I contacted her and asked which of the sisters was her mother. She replied, and I placed her onto my tree.
I followed a similar process for all of the other cousins that ThruLinestm provided connections to.
As you can see, my process it to:
Confirm the shared DNA amount matches expectations for the relationship.
Confirm the cousin’s descendants from the common ancestor and a known child of the common ancestor.
Analyze the remaining path to the cousin, assuring things make sense.
Then, I accept the individual’s tree as “tentative” from the grandchild of the common ancestor to the cousin.
I like ThruLinestm, but only for widening my tree to include individuals that are descendants of a known family unit.
Note: I do not even consider anything in the individual’s tree before our common ancestor.